Amethyst Ellen Harper (born August 6th, 1919) is an associate of Ryan Industries and former candidate of the Rapture Space Program. She is the only female to have been offered the job of Cosmonaut and would have been the only non-scientist personell on board. Like most others on board, she was blacklisted in 1956 after the program's failure, as part of the Ryan's attempt at a cover-up.
Amethyst Harper was an American citizen born in Chicago, Illinois. She grew up in a family relatively untouched by financial down times and afforded a full education uncommon for most kids at the time. She had a basic study in medicine and at the age of 21 enlisted as a nurse for the US Military. She was stationed on base in a military hospital in France, but her service was cut short when the base was hit by an enemy air-raid which devastated the hospital. Amethyst survived the attack, but she sustained nerve damage as a result. Back in the states she was diagnosed with a Congenital Insensitivity to Pain which had affected her whole body.
She went on to complete another service in France, during which she sustained multiple self-inflicted injuries by fault of her inability to feel. But by her 26th birthday the war was well on it's way to the end with the bombing of Hiroshima. In December of 1945, Amethyst returned to the states yet again, ready to study arms trade. While recovering in the hospital with several broken ribs, however, she recieved a visit from "foreign contractors". According to her family she was gone the very next year.
Life in RaptureEditAmethyst came to Rapture under particularly challenging circumstances. She hadn't left with any family or a husband, and had not yet practiced any marketable trade. She began to manage a small firearms shop in the ghetto district of Oedipus Valley. The area was mostly North-American immigrants, but there was a fair share of business savvy Irishmen who ran it like projects. Her only close friend was a doctor of Optimized Eugenics, then-located in the Medical Pavilion, who conducted her nerve therapy. She saw only the scars of her past, yet he saw enormous potential in her mind and body. It was through his support that she decided she should mother a child, one that he assured her would not be affected by her nerve damage since it was not genetic. It was at this time that her business began recieving sponsorship from Sinclair Solutions, whose products she sold, and began outsourcing to Vending Machines. With her business a success and her future safely secured, she was artificially inseminated on July 4th, 1951.
Rapture Space ProgramEdit
In January of 1952, six months into her pregnancy, Amethyst was approached by employees of Ryan Industries. She'd been selected, through a review of her medical records with Optimized Eugenics, to participate in the Rapture Space Program. The program was astronautical in nature, with the intention of launching Rapture citizens into orbit, deploying several satellites along the way for surface surveillance, and returning to the city. She was chosen for the program because, due to inadequate developments in radiation shielding, the crew would be exposed to cosmic rays far beyond any found in practical spaceflight. While high dosages of medicine (designed by Optimized Eugenics to counteract radiation sickness) would keep crew members in good health, the intense pain of unhindered radiation would inevitably risk mission failure. Amethyst, thanks to her insensitivity to such pain, was to act as a sort of tactical safeguard to ensure the mission would go off a success.
Harper gave birth to a baby girl in May that year. Under the advice of Andrew Ryan, she left the child in the care of Ryan Industries so that she could proceed with the physical conditioning without distraction. She was ensured that her daughter would be returned to her care after the mission was complete. Testing went along as planned, briefings were issued and simulations were run. A skyscraper silo was erected as a launch point for the mission, adjacent to the Medical Pavilion complex to create a nearby work environment for cosmonauts, who were issued the bulk of their conditioning in the labs of Optimized Eugenics. A large amount of rocket fuel had been amassed for the project which was well on its way towards completion. Four years into the project, dummy tests were protocol.
Audio DiariesEditTitle: Finding Work
Author: Harvey Lavensky
Location: Oedipus Valley's Ryanville (sardonic Rapture equivalent to Hoovervilles)
"I come to Rapture on account of folks like Ryan... hardworking suits striding miles ahead of their peers in the field of physics. N' while Ryan's buzzing the public with electrical developments, I can get 'em on the astrophysics side of it all- rocketry! 'Course, I come here thinking it's my time to shine, only to find that in this fish-tank, oxy's a penny a pound. No oxy, no rocket fuel. Ryan phones me up on account of my technique, says he just may have a chore for a spiff like me. I'm asking why a guy like Ryan wants a guy like me blowing holes in the ceiling, and he says 'Not the ceiling, Dr. Lavensky. The atmosphere,' That Ryan, he's nuts alright, but he's putting me to work!"
Title: Real CuteAuthor: Dennis Allen
Location: Ryan Industries' Corporate Housing
"Got treated to a nice little speech today down in corporate. The bigwigs were showcasing their newest escapade in stupidity- The Rapture Space Program! Big promises were involved too- another few decades of security, a new study in pressured cabins, and samplings for Ryan's new 'Extraterrestrial' Plasmid line. All I'm hearing is gimmick, gimmick, gimmick! But it'll still be a while before they can start pissing away the company's money. First they've got to figure out how to smash through 30 fathoms of ocean water- I can guarantee you that won't be quick. Yeah, the 'space program is cute alright, if you're a fan of stupid ideas."
Title: Smoke SignalsAuthor: Nikolai Vlodstueck
Location: Medical Pavilion's Catacombs
"I speak'to Ryan today, after maintenance to the Lighthouse descent tunnel. I and a couple of workers are scrubbing the lime off of the steps outside, when a burst of light and smoke comes coursing through the water and up out of the surface, like a geyser! Plumes of sulfur were still in the air by the time we went back down. When I mention'to Ryan about it, I call him out. I say 'With all these tests, all these tests and then a launch, surely you will betray Rapture's position to the surface!' But then Ryan just laughs- make some joke about Icelandic Navy- whole room laughs. Laugh while you can, but with all these smoke signals, someone's bound to find a city."
Title: Test RunAuthor: Arthur Cadburry
Location: Ocean Floor's RSP Ruins
"This is bad. They're pushing test runs on us on account of the deadline. A deadline, on a revolutionary voyage! Who does that? This is what happens when you mix business with science. I'm just focused on deploying Securis Satellite Cameras, and all that Ryan can think of is what kind of market he can make out of the whole affair. The nerve of the man! We just recently finished installing the air-tanks in preparation for the buoyancy launch. The welding's all finished, but I've got to convince those monkeys down in rocketry to delay the fuel discharge, otherwise they'll blow right through the soldering on the tunnel wall. On top of it all, these launch calculations won't add up... Damnit Ryan, this is a disaster!"
Disaster and BlacklistingEdit
After several instances of reconstruction to the silo to promote a buoyancy launch, a dry launch test was issued on the 8th of October, 1956. With structural integrity at an all time low, the building surged with a blast of rocket fuel burning at over 1000 degrees Celcius. The newly placed ballast tanks located at the base of the structure were burnt open in the process, with the resulting pressure forcing the vessel from its fixed position through the silo tunnel before exploding still inside the tower, rupturing every air-tight window of the building along the way. Luckily the fires were diminished by ocean water before spreading to larger fuel deposits beneath the Medical Pavilion, and due to the hollowed out nature of the tower, it collapsed inward with minimal damage to adjacent structures.
All employees still inside the building during the time of the disaster were trapped when Securis doors sealed to maintain airlock. Similarly, Optimized Eugenics labs went under a complete lock down to trap in other employees. The majority of the cosmonauts who were signed onto the program were here at the time, and Ryan took this as his chance to cover up any signs that they had made a mistake. Amethyst was in her apartment at the time, and in an attempt to bait her back into the labs, Ryan revealed to her the true fate of her child- she'd become the subject of Ryan Industries' own Gatherer program, running it out of Optimized Eugenics at the time. Upon rushing to the labs Amethyst, along with other potentially leaky employees, was prepared for transfer to Persephone and a cover-up of the whole incident and failed program was well under way. Before the transfer, however, a doctor of Optimized Eugenics and a loyal employee to Ryan was permitted to withhold her relocation for the sake of further testing.